Thursday, April 24, 2008

Peanuts Was Hungry

If you have a child who regularly doesn't do his or her homework or one who puts things off until the very last minute, you'll know how I felt a couple of days ago when a fellow parent asked me how W.'s book turned out. She knew things weren't good when I gave her a completely blank stare and finally asked "What book?" Turns out that he was supposed to write a 6 or more page book that would entertain a kindergartner or first grader and it was due that morning. Rotten little booger had taken advantage of the fact that hubby and I had been gone for almost 2 weeks and neglected to 1. tell me about it and 2. to do it.

I. was. not. pleased.

So after tears, we got down to the book. In the interest of time (and because he was dripping wet after his swimming lesson--little brother was still doing his), he dictated his book to me and I wrote it down for later typing and illustrating. Despite the procrastination and whining, it turned out really funny. We test drove it by reading it to our resident kindergartner who laughed hysterically at it. Now whether he laughed in order to make his brother feel good or he really thought it was that funny is debatable. Of course, such sibling kindness as in the latter suggestion is generally in short measure here so perhaps he did think it was gut-splittingly funny. I actually think it's cute as can be, and yes, a little funny too.

Here's the book (just imagine the hand drawn illustrations as it's currently at school being graded so I can't scan it). All grammar and phrasing W.'s:

Peanuts Was Hungry

Peanuts the Elephant had a rather larger stomach that most elephants. And he was very, very hungry. At dinner he asked for fifth helpings of his mom's famous mashed potatoes with crickets.

His mom said, "Honey, we've already run out of it." So he said, "I'll just go over to Leo the Lion's and see what he's having for dinner."

When Peanuts got to Leo's, he found that they were eating grilled goat horns and boiled anteater tails. Peanuts helped himself to Leo's dinner. He ate everything on the table, including the tablecloth. Peanuts was still hungry so Leo said, "Let's go to Gary Giraffe's."

At Gary's house, they were having roasted ladybugs in a log and majorly muddy mud pies for dessert. Peanuts helped himself to Gary's dinner. He ate everything on the table, including his silverware. Peanuts was still hungry so he went to Terry Toucan's house.

At Terry's house, they were having fried, rotten bananas. Peanuts helped himself to Terry's dinner. He ate everything on the table, including the flowers in the centerpiece. Peanuts was still hungry so he went to Henry Hyena's house.

At Henry's house, they were having poached porcupine quills and pickled platypus feet. Peanuts helped himself to Henry's dinner. He ate everything on the table, including the table itself! Peanuts was finally full but he didn't feel so good.

Peanuts barfed all over everywhere. Peanuts was hungry again.

If my travelogues generally contain barfing incidents, why wouldn't my 11 (tomorrow!) year old son write a book with barf as the central joke?! And you should see the final illustration with Peanuts blowing his lunch out all over the entire page. Perfectly gross enough for a boy of any age.

Early Mid-Life Crisis

So I had an early mid-life crisis last night. Another way to look at it is to say I was seized by a fit of temporary insanity. Or maybe I just need something besides the upcoming move to obsess over. Whatever you call it, what happened was this: I signed up to run the Nike Women's Marathon in October in San Francisco. It all sounded so logical when I was sitting surrounded by friends, drinking wine, eating cheesecake, and listening to another friend wax poetic about how much fun it would be if we all did this wonderful and impressive thing together. I'm a lot more apprehensive in the cold light of day! I guess it's a good thing I wrote a check to commit myself last night so I can't waffle my way out of it now. And I do think it will be a good thing. It's a great cause and I've been talking about running a full marathon ever since last year so this should be the push I need to actually go for it. Although the word of the day in my e-mail inbox this morning does give me pause: inanition--meaning "the exhausted condition that results from lack of food and water." Good thing I don't believe in signs!

Oh, and I'm doing the marathon through Team in Training so I have to raise beaucoup bucks in order to do this. On the off chance that any of you strangers who read my blog would like to donate (I know there are probably only two of you at most, but...) just leave a comment and I'll send you the link to my fundraising site once it's up. As for family and friends who claim to read this, well, you'll get personalized desperate e-mails from me. If you act surprised, I'll know you don't really read the blog. ::grin:: And as an added incentive to donate, it's all tax deductable. Just think what a better tax deduction it is than having kids. You don't have to feed it, educate it, or have it mouth off to you. Your initial investment is all it takes--unless of course you'd like to donate early and donate often, which I won't discourage either. So you benefit, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society benefits, and I benefit (I mean, have you ever seen any fat runners? Me neither.). At the very least, wish me luck!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Expanding Horizons Challenge

So I've been reading along with this one but never officially signed up. Seeing as it's about to finish up, I thought I should not only sign-up but also list the books I read for it. Reviews will eventually make it up to the blog as well, but heaven only knows when at this point. I did complete this one is time (by the 30th of this month). Here's what I read:

African: The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta
Asian: Sky Burial by Xinran
Hispanic: Finding Manana by Mirta Ojito
Indian: Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta
Middle Eastern: Persian Girls by Nahid Rachlin
Native Peoples: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Another Bloomin' Challenge

I have had The Orchid Thief in my tbr stash for years so this challenge is the perfect impetus to get that one read.

Just for my own records...

Because I was too slow to post about these challenges at the time (although I did do them when the rules stipulated), I am just going to note that I did indeed complete the Four Legged Friends Challenge, From the Stacks Challenge, Hometown Challenge, Outmoded Authors Challenge, Seafaring Challenge, and Unread Authors Challenge in addition to the ones listed in my blog. Now on to list a few more I never did officially sign up for despite reading along for them and which are ending soon!

I Heard It Through the Grapevine Challenge

Because I am congenitally unable to join just one challenge at a time, I'm joining this one too. ::grin:: The books I am currently eyeing as able to fulfill this one are:

1. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (this one was highly recommended by several people in my face to face book club)
2. The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery (this one was recommended by folks on an internet book group)
3. The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes (this was recommended by a former co-worker)

New Challenge--Non-Fiction Five

I may be totally behind in blogging the books I've read for challenges, but that isn't going to slow me down from joining yet another challenge (or two). So in keeping with that, here's my entry into the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. Can't say I know everything I'll read for this one but since I can change my options at the drop of a hat (my kind of challenge!!!), I'm not going to worry about that. Tentatively I'll be reading Hamlet's Dresser by Bob Smith (memoir), Natasha's Dance by Orlando Figes (history), The White Masai by Corinne Hofmann (memoir), Singular Intimacies by Danielle Ofri (memoir), and The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone (memoir).

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